BC student bicycling his way to France

Published 3:58 pm Thursday, March 26, 2009

Creativity and determination are two keys Bainbridge College (BC) foreign language major Anthony Yates is using to open the door to international education for himself and others.

A freshman, Yates created a special bicycling fund-raiser for his trip to study in France this summer and suggested that the BC International Education (IE) Club members design a T-shirt to raise funds for club projects.

The students designed T-shirts, which cost $10 each, and are available by contacting Brenda Atkins in the Arts and Sciences Division office at (229) 248-2560.

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BC student Lynlee Gainous followed the IE Club project to completion with her relative in Cairo, LeAnn Maxwell of ABC Promotions (A Ken Young Company), said Betty LaFace, BC club adviser and campus associate director of international education.

In LaFace’s French class fall semester, Yates learned about study abroad opportunities offered by BC through the European Council at Valdosta State University. To learn more about it, he attended the IE Club, became president, and spoke with Tracy Harrington, BC’s international education coordinator.

Once he had the facts and knew how much it would cost to study in France, Yates created his fund-raiser, “Faire du vélo,” which is French for “biking.” Through it patrons donate money to help him defray the cost of his study in Paris June 30-Aug. 9. There he will study at the Cité Unversitaire, taking a course in French language and a literature course “Hemingway in Paris.”

In return for any amount of donations, patrons can ask Yates for photos of places around Paris. He plans to send patrons a copy of all the grades he makes there and a copy of the journal he plans to keep of his experience.

“Donations are available in the amounts of one cent, five cents, and 10 cents per mile,” Yates said. “But no matter the donation rate, a maximum of $20 per month will be accepted.”

Amounts are calculated each month, and do not carry over to the next month.

He cycles the first 25 days of the month, using a Garmin Forerunner 305 to track his miles for each ride, then spends the rest of the month calculating the miles and amounts owed and contacting his patrons.

Yates explained all this on a poster displayed at the Study Abroad Fair featured in the Arts and Sciences Division lobby in February. The poster also had a flyer Yates created for those interested in more information; they may contact him at ameathe@gmail.com.

By the time of the Study Abroad event, the Brinson resident had already reached more than the half-way point on his fund-raising goal to cover program costs that must be paid in advance and that total more than $3,000. Yates will have to pay tuition for the two classes when he arrives, and provide for his personal expenses for traveling.

In addition to Yates’ project, the Study Abroad Fair featured information about many travel opportunities with various institutions in the University System of Georgia whose representatives were on hand to talk with students. Representatives came from the University of Georgia to discuss travel to Antarctica among other destinations, Abraham Baldwin College, which plans its first study abroad to Argentina, Darton College, Albany State University, Georgia Perimeter College and Valdosta State.

This was one of several international education initiatives by Bainbridge College. Members of the faculty and staff and several students have traveled for special cooperative projects. For example, during Spring Break seven students went to Belize where education majors worked in schools and donated books for a library project.